Bug 44941 - UI: Double click in the header/footer area should create new header/footer if not existent
Summary: UI: Double click in the header/footer area should create new header/footer if...
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
3.5.0 RC1
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Header-Footer
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Reported: 2012-01-19 07:57 UTC by Florian R. A. Angermeier
Modified: 2017-05-10 05:16 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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Description Florian R. A. Angermeier 2012-01-19 07:57:20 UTC
I hope this is not a duplication. A search had no results.

My request is simple. A double click into the header/footer area should create a new header/footer. I know that it is now possible via the in blending button but people who are familiar with MS Word would expect such behavior.
Comment 1 Florian Reisinger 2012-01-21 01:14:32 UTC
Well. I am not a developer, but I have edited the metadata.
this idea would be great...
tested with LibreOffice 3.5 RC 1
Comment 2 Roman Eisele 2012-05-03 03:36:27 UTC
At the first glance, this seems a good idea. But if I think over it for a while, I have my doubts if this would be a good enhancement. I see two problems.

1) At the moment, adding or removing a page header or footer is equally easy (or difficult) with Writer; therefore, someone who can add a page header/footer will also be able to remove it again if he/she wants. But the present enhancement request would change that situation. From years of helping Word or Writer users with their applications, I know that many people often click and double-click somewhere on the screen, esp. in the white areas (the margins etc.), without any special intention. If just double-clicking in the top or bottom margin of a page would add a page header or footer, these people will be surprised first and then they will often want to remove the unwanted header/footer again. But removing the header or footer again will be somewhat more difficult than adding it (nothing can be as simple as double-clicking). So, well, I can already here my **** or my **** or **** [removed names of relatives and friends :;-)] cry: 'Roman, my document is looking so strange now, how can I repair it?'

But you may say: 'In MS Word, this feature works, so why should it not work in Writer?' OK, there is another reaseon why this feature may be OK in Word but not in Writer:

2) As explained in bug 33304 (in reality, another enhancement request), there is an important difference between page headers/footers in MS Word and LibreOffice Writer respectively: in MS Word, page headers and footers are placed in the page margin and therefore don't interfere with the main text area (what typography calls 'print space', German 'Satzspiegel'); in Writer, page headers and footers are considered as parts of the main text area or 'print space'. This difference becomes visible if you add a header or footer to a document already filled with text: in Writer, the complete text will get re-wrapped again and the page count will increase in most times, because there is now less space for the main text on each page; in MS Word, this should not happen.

Which one of these two approaches to page layout is the better one, does not matter here (see the discussion in bug 33304). Important for this enhancement request is the simple difference: In MS Word, adding a page header and/or footer should not interfere with the layout and the division of the main text into pages, so it does not matter if someone adds a header/footer without really wanting so. But in Writer, adding a page header and/or footer by accident will make some people cry because the page header and/or footer will interfere with the layout and the division of the main text into pages. If someone has carefully distributed his texts and images and tables on several pages, and now just double-clicks into the top or bottom margin without thinking anything special, he/she will be really surprised and even angry about that everything now looks brocken and confused. And therefore he/she may even forget just to press Control/Command+Z ...

3) On the other hand: are there any real benefits from adding this feature? Well, experienced Word users will certainly be happy in the beginning. But if they get more familiar to Writer, there is no real advantage anymore. You don't add headers/footers 1000 times a day, most times just once per document, therefore you do not win much time by double-clicking instead of using the menu ('Insert > Header/Footer') or the new blending-in button.

So, in summary: I'm sorry but I can't see any important benefits this new feature would have for Writer (the little speedup for experienced Word users is just too minor, see 3. above), but I see important disadvantages this feature would have for Writer (see 1. and 2. above). Even if this feature works perfectly well for Word users (I am in doubt even about this point, see 1. above), it will bring headaches to Writer users (see 2. above).

We don't need to add everything just because it is in MS Office; 1 Thessalonians 5:21 is true here, too: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." ;-)
Comment 3 Roman Eisele 2012-05-03 04:08:00 UTC
Improved Summary a bit to avoid the (wrong) impression that this feature was already present and considered as a bug ;-)
Comment 4 Logan Rosen 2012-05-03 04:48:06 UTC
Roman, awesome explanation. I forgot about that technicality. I am going to make this bug depend on Bug 33304, as, per you, adding this feature would not create parity with Word. In Word, the header always "exists;" in LibreOffice, it does not, and when it does exist, you can click on the top to edit it. Thanks again.
Comment 5 Ákos 2016-09-20 13:21:20 UTC
This is a feature that has realized better in LO with blending button.
If we fix this bug, probably somewone create a bug to remove this feature, because accidental he create a header/footer.
If someone click/double click in the header or footer, the add header/footer button will appear, and was very easy to use it.